The advertisements are everywhere: for a fee (generally at least $20) you can dramatically increase the number of followers to your twitter feed, likes to your facebook page, and hits to your youtube video.
Marketing experts advise against this as a rule. But it is hard to listen to that advice when the same experts are telling you that the NUMBER of twitter followers, facebook likes, and youtube hits are CRITICAL to getting sales.
In June of this year, I fell for the hype, believing the marketer‘s grand promises. Here is what I learned the hard way:
1. Purchased followers are fleeting
Buy followers and you probably will get the promised number of followers — for a day or two. But less two weeks after I bought followers, those followers largely disappeared. Today, nearly three months after falling for the scam, only about 30% of those followers are still with me.
2. Money-back “guarantees” are no guarantee.
Each time my followers fell, I emailed the company who only too eagerly took my money. They addressed this ONCE — at the two week point — but never again. In fact, the website I purchased the followers from NO LONGER EXISTS.
This should scream SCAM to you.
3. Unless you are already a celebrity, purchased likes/followers are obvious
With few exceptions sudden surge in followers or likes are generally a clear and obvious bet that someone bought them. Huge discrepancies between the number of people who follow you and the number you follow yourself also signal “purchased” to people.
This actually destroys credibility and causes legitimate and earned followers to unfollow and unlike you.
4. Unfollow/unfriend software
With so many people falling for the purchased likes and followers, individuals and businesses now offer software designed to sort the real from virtual. With these programs, anyone who does not follow back is unfollowed. Since it literally takes hours or days to go through the auto-generated followers/likes, these programs very effectively undo whatever the marketer did for you.
5. There is no magic or quick way to gain legitimate social media numbers.
Social media takes careful and personal effort. You cannot just throw money at it and expect real and lasting results.
As always, if it sounds too good to be true — it is.
Don’t fall for the scam. There is no replacement for hard work.